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Thread: On Marty Sampson

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    On Marty Sampson

    Pray for him.

    Link

    ---

    What happens when someone leaves Christianity? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Until the announcement came, I had never heard of Marty Sampson. I really don’t pay much attention to Contemporary Christian Music as too much of it seems shallow to me, though there are a few exceptions. I do understand I have at least one friend who really looked up to Sampson and was devastated by the news.

    “Time for some real talk… I’m genuinely losing my faith.. and it doesn’t bother me… like, what bothers me now is nothing… I am so happy now, so at peace with the world.. it’s crazy / this is a soapbox moment so here I go xx how many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it,” he said.

    “How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send 4 billion people to a place, all coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it.

    “Christians can be the most judgemental people on the planet – they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people… but it’s not for me. I am not in any more.”

    He added: “I want genuine truth. Not the ‘I just believe it’ kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion.”

    Many of us looking at this are a bit surprised and in some ways, not surprised. When he says no one talks about these kinds of things, in a sense, he’s right. Very rarely does the church talk about these intellectual issues. Instead, most of the church services are just large group therapy sessions to help people feel better.

    I have to wonder what kind of God concept he had when one leaves it behind and thinks that there is great peace then. I have a personal theory that many of the struggles we have in our life come down to bad theology. How we view God impacts every area of our lives, even if you’re an atheist.

    The truth is the church does need to talk about these issues. We do no favor to our young people in the church when we simply give them emotional placebos and expect that to carry them over. Would you want your marriage to rely totally on your emotions? (Which could explain why there are so many divorces.) Why say your relationship with Christ is the most important aspect of your life and never think about it?

    What do we do with our youth? We give them pizza parties, video games, and concerts. What do they get in college then? They get all of those along with sex, drugs, and drinking. Guess which side is going to win this one.

    Marty Sampson has since made a post recommending a number of Christian apologists, which says he was looking for some answers. He gives no reason why they are not convincing. At this, I have to wonder if something else is going on, which I suspect it usually is.

    After all, all the issues that he raises are ones that have been addressed time and time again. There are plenty of resources available to help someone who is struggling with any of them. I suspect most of these five guys Sampson lists as respectable apologists would have been glad to have worked with him through the issues.

    Ultimately, we need to be doing better. You will not be strong as a Christian if you rely on your emotions because your commitment will only be as strong as your emotions are. This is the same in any area of life. It works that way with marriages, jobs, friendships, etc. Christianity requires a commitment of the will and for that, you must be able to be made sure in your mind.

    Every church should have someone in there who really knows apologetics well and at least an apologetics small group. Every youth minister needs to be equipping the youth in their church in Christian apologetics. There is eternity at stake for people and we don’t need to be giving a shallow faith to those who need a deep one.

    I also recommend my friend George Brahm who has similar thoughts here.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  2. Amen Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
  3. #2
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    We are to be innocent and shrewd! Wait, why was Jesus using snakes as an example of shrewdness? They just have a good survival instinct? Or was He referring to that?
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    tWebber ReformedApologist's Avatar
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    The sad fact is he is coming from a church that basis truth on emotion. Hillsong has very shallow theology and a view of God that makes him out to be a vending machine. And when God does not give them what they want then they see it as a failure on God's part.

  5. Amen mossrose amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    God is not a genie!
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    tWebber
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    Sadly, Nick, your indictment of youth ministries in Christian denominations also matches with my experience growing up Jewish.

    By the time of the bar/bat mitzvah, none of us had any idea what we believed or why we believed it. What did we have? A lot of "contemporary Judaism" and "Jewish culture" and assorted outings. Those are all fine, in small doses. It shouldn't shock anybody, though, that such an approach fails to build a robust theological connection and understanding of the religion.

  8. Amen Adrift amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Christian education is fast becoming neither - but before we place blame solely on the Church what happened to his Bible? Did his Christian bookstore not have an apologetics section? Why didn't he ask any of those questions to Christians that might be able to address - if not outright answer - them?

    Christian education is a passion of mine and yes, it has many failings. Feel good churches aren't likely to be either for very long. BUT when I became an atheist it was my OWN FAULT that I didn't seek answers to my issue and that I had never actually read the Bible cover to cover - or tried to find another translation. OR asked questions of people that might could have helped me.

    The Bible tells us 'seek and ye shall find' - which kinda requires that we actually do some seeking.

    Before we speculate about what's wrong with 'them', take a good look in the mirror - is that eye clear or is there a log poking out. True both ways around - both for we as the church in how we respond to the weak state of Biblical literacy - and to the 'seeker' that isn't really looking.

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    When I was a teen, I looked for answers when I was wondering if Christianity was true. I did not just throw in the towel and become an agnostic just because of dealing with foolish fundy atheist teenagers. I became and apologetics nerd!

    Um... I really hope I didn't just insult you Teal...

    I'm just the kind of person that likes to seek knowledge. I read medical encyclopedias for fun when I was 8....
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  11. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
  12. #8
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    My concern about the Christian Music business, for a long time, has been that many people "in the music business" find an audience in Church or Christian concerts or whatever.

    It's not necessarily that they're strong Christians seeking to share their faith through music - but in many cases, it's finding an outlet to share their musical talent.

    How many musicians got their "start" singing in Church? Then they get well known, and so many seem to use the Christian or Gospel background to "cross over" into secular music.

    It never really surprises me when a "successful" Christian musician abandons the faith, or "crosses over" into secular music.

    In my own church, I don't encourage anybody to sing or play instruments unless I believe they are doing it as an avenue to share their faith, not their musical talent.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  13. Amen Teallaura, Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
  14. #9
    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    When I was a teen, I looked for answers when I was wondering if Christianity was true. I did not just throw in the towel and become an agnostic just because of dealing with foolish fundy atheist teenagers. I became and apologetics nerd!

    Um... I really hope I didn't just insult you Teal...

    I'm just the kind of person that likes to seek knowledge. I read medical encyclopedias for fun when I was 8....
    No, not at all - I know I was being stupid (and not reading the Bible wasn't the stupidest part ).

    I learned to read in law journals - and I got an unabridged dictionary for my 12th birthday just like I wanted!

    I went to college ta get stooopid!

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teallaura View Post
    No, not at all - I know I was being stupid (and not reading the Bible wasn't the stupidest part ).

    I learned to read in law journals - and I got an unabridged dictionary for my 12th birthday just like I wanted!

    I went to college ta get stooopid!
    One should never stop learning. Right?
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  16. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.

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